27 March 2017

Íslandsbanki donates numismatic collection to Central Bank and National Museum

Íslandsbanki donated its numismatic collection to the Central Bank and National Museum today. The collection comprises some 1,300 items dating from 1675 to 2000 and has been owned by the bank since its establishment. Among the items in the banknote collection are the Ríkisdalur from 1815 and a proof of the bank’s interim banknote issued in 1919. The coin collection is extraordinary. The oldest piece is a trade token from 1846, the first of its kind issued in Iceland. Another is a merchant token based on bread and issued by Bökunarfélag Ísfirðinga, the Ísafjörður bakers’ association, the only such token that still survives.
Íslandsbanki CEO Birna Einarsdóttir presented the collection to Central Bank Governor Már Guðmundsson. The collection will be on display in Smáralind for three weeks in connection with DesignMarch.

CEO Birna Einarsdóttir:
It is with great satisfaction that we donate our numismatic collection to the Central Bank and National Museum of Iceland for future conservation of this important part of our heritage. It is entirely appropriate to do it now, during the annual DesignMarch, as many of these notes and coins are works of art, and we know that the collection will be well taken care of.

Governor Már Guðmundsson:
We are delighted that Íslandsbanki should donate these unique items to the Central Bank and National Museum of Iceland numismatic collection. The items provide valuable insight into Iceland’s monetary history, particularly into developments in the history of banknotes, coin, and other means of payment developed during the Icelandic banking sector’s fledgling years. The collection includes regular currency and other items—trade coins and notes—that are unusual in today's context. Furthermore, the collection gives us greater understanding of the process for design and manufacture of the first notes printed in Iceland.